This is my 2nd 2001 Saturn SL-1. After only 13 days and 700 km, the engine on it came apart. The mechanic had to take the entire engine apart & rebuild it. The dealership was HORRIBLE about it. I refused to accept the car back, as Saturn advertises their 30-day money-back guarantee.
The dealership gave me an extremely hard time about this, and didn't want to accept the car back. The sales manager told me that because I had registered the car (which by law must be done within 15 days), he couldn't sell it to someone else as a new car!
I called Saturn's head office in Canada to complain about the way the dealership had treated me, and about how the sales manager had wanted to be able to sell this write-off to some unsuspecting person as a NEW car. The woman at the Saturn head office was very rude and told me that she didn't know why I expected them to do anything about it.
When I picked up the replacement car (I was stupid not to just get my money back), the dealership had broken the clear plastic cover that goes over the speedometer, and when I pointed it out and asked them to fix it, they actually pretended that they didn't see the very big, very white crack in it. They weren't going to fix it until I threatened to go tell the customers in the store about what was going on.
I have had to have the quill bearings replaced TWICE. This is a repair that costs about $1100 Canadian each time. I have read that the cause of this is a crooked drive shaft, which, of course, they didn't want to replace under warranty.
I have been having problems with the clutch. Most of the time, the clutch feels sticky and the gears grind.
The dealership told me that EVERYTHING on the car was covered by warranty for the first 5 years or 100,000 km, but I later found out that wasn't true at all. (The dealership LIED to me.)
After about 23,000 kms, the little button on the seat belt, which prevents the metal clip from sliding down to where you can't reach it, broke off the passenger side.
After 60,000 kms, the latch to pop the trunk open broke.
After about 65,000 kms, the cruise control stopped working properly. The dealership won't do anything about it.
The seats are somewhat uncomfortable. You really need a lumbar support cushion with them.
Really loud road noise.
The paint still looks good, and the seats have held up well.
I paid just over $22,000 Canadian for this car, and it was definitely NOT worth the money.
My last payment will be made on this car in about 2 weeks from now, but it looks like fixing the clutch/grinding problem could cost me the equivalent of 3 more payments!!!
I am seriously considering getting rid of this car and getting something else.